Emil Orlik, ‘Painter, Carver, and Printer in Japan ’, ca. 1901-02, Scholten Japanese Art

based on a woodblock printed triptych produced by Orlik while he was in Japan circa 1901, this lithograph by Orlik published in Die Graphischen Kunste, Vol. XXV (1902)

8 7/8 by 22 in., 22.7 by 56 cm

The first figure of the painter is Kano Tomonobu (1843-1912), the 9th generation master of the Kano school who became the de facto head of expat artists and art aficionados during the late Meiji Period in Japan. From around 1881 he befriended and Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908), and was one of the original seven members of the Kangakai (Painting Appreciation Society) founded by Fenollosa and William Sturgis Bigelow (1850-1926) in 1884. Tomonobu taught at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, which Fenollosa helped found in 1889, where he taught foreign students including Helen Hyde (1868-1919). Hyde, in turn, learned color woodblock printing from the Austrian artist Emil Orlik who was in Japan from March 1900 until February 1901. Orlik also taught the Dutch painter S.C. Bosch Reitz (1860-1938) who would become the first curator of Far Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1915.

Image rights: Scholten Japanese Art

Publisher: Die Graphischen Kunste, Vol. XXV (1902)

Julia Meech and Gabriel P. Weisberg, Japonisme Comes to America: The Japanese Impact on the Graphic Arts 1876-1925, 1990, pp. 109-114 (on Hyde, Tomonobu, and Orlik), and p. 115, no. 72 (litho)
Yokohama Museum of Art, ed., Eyes Towards Asia: Ukiyo-e Artists from Abroad (Ajiae no me gaikokujin no ukiyo-e shitachi), 1996, p. 26 nos. 3-4
Chazen Museum of Art, ed., Color Woodcut International: Japan, Britain and America in the Early Twentieth Century, 2006, p. 36, no. 5a-c
Koyama Shuko, Beautiful Shin Hanga- Revitalization of Ukiyo-e, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 2009, p. 10, cat. nos 1-4 & 1-5 (carver and printer)
Agnes Matthias, Emil Orlik: Zwischen Japan und Amerika, 2013, pp. 65-67, nos. 92-94

About Emil Orlik